CYRUS MASSOUMI is CEO and co-founder of ZocDoc, a New
York City–based software company with 350 employees.
How can the government best help
growing businesses meet the challenge
of providing health coverage?
There is a prevalent need for increased
preventive care. More than 75 percent
of health care costs are due to chronic
conditions, but these conditions are
also the most preventable.
Beyond health care, what can government
do to help start-ups like yours?
On the local level, Mayor Bloomberg
has helped cultivate a rich community
here. For instance, the city is donating
space on Roosevelt Island, plus $100
million, to help Cornell University build
a $2 billion campus and start-up incubator. The city is also partnering with
Columbia and NYU and offering them
incentives to expand their science and
engineering programs. That’s enabling
New York City–based start-ups to
scale research and development in a
way that hasn’t before been possible.
/PHOTOGRAPH BY MIKE MCGREGOR
50 million. “Almost all chronic
conditions are hidden,” says
Ahrens. “They create a pent-up need to connect. In a world
where disconnection from
other patients is the norm, I
think there’s a compelling case
for technology like this.”
CALL MAKES A
You talk to your loved ones
via Skype and other online
networks. Why not doctors?
In fact, plenty of ailments
can be diagnosed online.
“Consumers are looking
for different ways to interact
with physicians—modes that
are more convenient and that
don’t require going through
the traditional calling and
scheduling,” says David
Wong, a dermatologist and a
co-founder of Direct Dermatology in Palo Alto. Dermatology, he adds, is a perfect
match for telemedicine. An
image captured by the camera on a mobile phone or any
he says, can allow accurate
diagnosis of a rash, acne,
or a suspicious growth.
With no appointment,
Direct Dermatology custom-
ers can simply upload photos
of a skin condition or rash and
receive a timely response from
one of the dermatologists in
the network—as well as any
necessary prescriptions or
referrals to local specialists—
all for an $85 fee (insurance
reimbursement is limited
at this point). Launched as
a service for primary-care
doctors, Direct Dermatology
debuted a direct-to-consumer
service in mid-2012.